Welcome to Nerd Nite SF, 3rd Wed. of every month!

Nerd Nite SF #120: LSD Art, Redwoods, and Fish-Mediated Epilepsy Research!

Wednesday, September 15 , 2021
Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$15. Vaccine proof and masks required.
Tickets here

The lineup for all you nerds this month is a doozy! We’ll take a rollercoaster ride through the twists and turns of Mark McCloud’s mind as he tells us stories of his in-home museum of blotter art comprised of over 33,000 LSD sheets collected over the decades. If that’s not fishy enough for you, don’t worry. There will be actual fish featured in a talk about how zebrafish are helping neuroscientists study rare epilepsies. Also, no one knows fog as well as San Francisco in August, unless you’re a redwood tree. We’ll bond over fog and learn how redwoods rely on it.

Also, come partake in the first 2021 Boozy Bee! Sign up here. Pick a number, take a shot of your choice, and spell some words to win a prize! The audience will participate as well to help our contestants out if needed. Think, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire except with less money on the line. (way less).

Speakers

Finding Danio: Can transparent zebrafish help us see through diseases? by Dr. Prahatha Venkatraman

Small freshwater fish called zebrafish (Danio rerio) help researchers across the world study human diseases and develop treatments for disease. Why is the zebrafish such a powerful research model for human disease? Is it actually more closely related to humans or zebras? Come find out in this talk that will guide you through “Finding Danio”

Dr. Venkatraman is a research scholar at UCSF and currently uses zebrafish as a model system to study rare pediatric epilepsies. Through her research she hopes to advance our understanding of these rare epilepsies and help discover a treatment. 

The Institute of Illegal Images by Mark McCloud

Artist and San Francisco staple Mark McCloud will take us on a trip through his personal collection of LSD blotter housed, well, in his house. Born in Detroit, raised in Buenos Aires, but a resident of the Mission since the 80s, he has dedicated his life to making and preserving blotter art in order to pay homage to the substance that he says saved his life.

The California Redwood: Way cooler than you thought (& also cooler than you!by Ryan Kenneally

Redwoods are cool in both senses of the word. Chilling quietly in cold foggy forests but also unique and interesting, these spectacular trees define a rare and endangered ecosystem that contributes to the amazing biodiversity found in California. Redwoods harness the fog to transform coastal habitats into the most lush forests in the state, working collectively to reach larger sizes than any other tree on Earth. Clear your brain fog with a beer and let’s learn about what makes these trees so special and fascinating! 

Ryan Kenneally is a PhD student in Plant Biology at UC Berkeley, and previously worked as a Sustainable Agricultural Systems volunteer with the Peace Corps. He is passionate about all things plants, but especially the California Redwood.

As always, follow DJ Alpha Bravo’s set list of songs chosen to complement our evening’s talks @djalphabravo

No food vendor this month, so get your dinner beforehand and come have a drink for dessert with us!

Nerd Nite SF #119: A clock, some milk, and a dash of fungal affliction!

Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$15. Vaccine proof and masks required.
Tickets here

Hello friends. Ever wonder what it’s like to get suffocated by your own skin? Well then do we have the talk for you! Gordon Lau will explain chytrid fungus and make you feel better about not being an amphibian. We’ll also be learning about another animal phenomenon perhaps a bit closer to home: mammal lactation! Rounding out the evening will be a presentation on a clock that will tick independently for 10,000 years in a Texas desert, and never repeat a chime melody, not even once. If that all sounds fun, join us on August 18!

The 10,000 Year Clock by Alexander Rose

Industrial designer Alexander Rose will discuss the design process of building the monument scale 10,000 Year Clock now under construction in Western Texas, as well as some of the precedence from the past that help give us clues as to how artifacts can last for millennia.

Alexander is the executive director of the Long Now Foundation, builds combat and bartending robots, and enjoys mountain biking and mountaineering.

Chytrid-99: The Amphibians’ Covid-19 by Gordon Lau

Humans aren’t the only animals currently going through a global pandemic! Since it was first described in 1999, the deadly pathogen within the chytrid group of fungi called Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd for short (wouldn’t want to get tongue-tied from that scientific name!) has been implicated in precipitous amphibian die-offs across the world. Learn about what makes this fungus so deadly to our slimy friends of the undergrowth, along with tales of its spread right here in California!

Gordon Lau is a lifelong nature nerd and now a literal master of disease ecology and herpetology, having received his MS degree from SF State studying the relative role of salamander life history traits in Bd infection risk. He currently works as a wildlife biologist surveying protected species and sensitive habitats in the Santa Cruz Mountains and other areas in Northern California affected by the 2020 wildfires. When not working, he can be found posting cool wildlife findings on his IG @accordiongordon and sporadically uploading videos to his ever-nascent Youtube wildlife channel, “Gordon Gone Wild”.

Seeing Milk Through Rose Colored Glasses? by Maddie McNelis

On Wednesdays we… talk about pink milk. More specifically, does it actually exist in the natural world? Join for a highly tangential mythbusting journey through alleged strawberry milk producers and learn about the wonders of lactation on the way!

Maddie is a research specialist at UC Berkeley who studies lactation and mammary glands in a wide variety of mammal species, with a particular emphasis in the evolution of unique strategies and physiologies.

As always, follow DJ Alpha Bravo’s set list of songs chosen to complement our evening’s talks @djalphabravo

Nerd Nite SF #118: Plants, Signs, and Tokens of the Non-Fungible Variety!

Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$15
Tickets here

We are back and ready for action, which means presentations and pints for all!
There may or may not be a battle of the puns. Come early and get cozy with a drink or two and find out!

ps this may give it away, but submit your puns here to be voted on by an audience of your nerd peers the night of the show.

See you all four Wednesdays from now!

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“Crime Pays But Botany Doesn’t” with Joey Santore

Botanist Joey Santore will give a short introduction on growing trees and native plants from seed and planting them in neglected spaces in cities in hopes of making them a little less bleak. Topics covered will include seed collecting, mixing soil, installing plants and maintaining neglected urban spaces.

Joey is the creator and producer of the Crime Pays But Botany Doesn’t YouTube channel which aims to open people’s eyes to the plants around them and inspire them to learn about the evolutionary and ecological roles of plant life outside of human centered ideals around aesthetic and human-centered use. He enjoys fine taquerias with numerous health code violations, crass humor, an understanding of the geologic time scale and very brief walks on the beach.

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“(Ghost) Sign of the Times” with Kasey Smith

Ten years ago, artist and ghost sign extraordinaire Kasey Smith started a project to identify, document, research, and map San Francisco’s remaining historical hand painted signs – colloquially known as “ghost signs.” 430+ ghost signs later, the map has reached maturity, and can help provide a unique lens on the continuing saga of San Francisco’s redevelopment. Where are these old signs found? Where are they being revealed? Where are they being destroyed? Where are they being restored? And what larger trends are driving all this flux on the ghost sign map? 

When Kasey is not mapping ghost signs or working on her upcoming book about them, she is creating site specific installations, performances, and art events with a focus on the ephemerality of the cityscape. She lives in Oakland, CA.

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“NFTs: Trash or Treasure Chests” with Neranjan Bissoon

Why would people spend so much computer money on a JPEG or a GIF?

You may say probably money laundering or a crypto flex from some Lambo owning tres comma tech founder. The answer is sometimes yes but the potential of NFTs to shape the landscape of art, video games, sex positive communities and more could be immense. Let us journey through the world of blockchain collectibles and discuss some of the current confusion as well as the potential utility behind them. Less how it helps Beeple and more of how things like Play To Earn NFT based games can help people.

Neranjan is a talent agent in the video game industry as well as a blockchain gaming enthusiast, NFT artist, and founder of the blog CatsAndVR. In the past he has been a video game journalist, VR developer, and sex positive filmmaker.

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We are also ecstatic that DJ Alpha Bravo will continue to curate and spin tunes specially selected to match our presenters’ themes. Follow the set list on Twitter @djalphabravo

No food offering for this nite, so get your dinner beforehand!

Bart and Lucy, Nerd Nite Emeriti + event update!

Hello nerds of San Francisco and beyond!

We have some news for you all as we emerge out of covid hibernation. Nerd Nite SF will return on third Wednesdays at Rickshaw Stop beginning next month, on July 21! More details and a ticket link to come, but in the meantime we’d like everyone to know of a sea change in our SF nerd herding team. After an epic decade of organizing one of the best ways to learn something new over a beer or two, Bart and Lucy are passing the baton. They’ve written the message below for all you beautiful people who have supported the program over the past 10 years. Read it and weep :’)

Farewell and Thank You from Bart and Lucy:
Remember how our desire for a bigger boat took us from a pleasure cruise around the bay to an aircraft carrier in Alameda to Alcatraz Island? Well, now the jolly tugboat of Nerd Nite SF is getting (drum roll) a new captain — and we are thrilled to hand the wheel to Maricela Abarca!

But before we jump ship, we would like to recognize the people who have made these 10+ years so wonderful.
To the Rickshaw Stop: Dan Strachota, Noah Kincade, and all the fine folk who keep the place humming and the booze flowing, you are the best! Literally no other venue in town can match you (yes, because we are nerds, we did extensive research). Here’s to 10 more years (at least) of NNSF on your hallowed stage. THANK YOU.

Alpha Bravo (aka Alexander Bailey), your museum-worthy poster designs and delightfully obscure themed DJ sets (on vinyl no less!) have exceeded all our hopes and dreams. This whole thing wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without you. THANK YOU.

Joe Boyle, Bob Hermes, and Kevin Cressa, our videographers extraordinaire, jugglers of equipment, and capturers of angles, you have helped us document the amazing things that have happened on the NNSF stage and done so for the love of it—well, that and some free drinks. We admire your skill, generosity, enthusiasm, and all-around coolness. THANK YOU.

To our fellow Nerd Herders around the Bay Area and the world, and all those who work to bring fun educational programs to the masses, THANK YOU for your partnership, your ideas, your commiseration, and your inspiration.
To our past speakers … what can we say? To continue the nautical theme: We’d have been sunk without you. In fact, you are the precious cargo that the tugboat NNSF pulls around. THANK YOU.

See you at future NNSF shows—we’ll be the ones WOO-ing the loudest. And please stay in touch: and .
Love,
Bart and Lucy (NNSF co-captains, ret.)


More Lockpicking Workshops w/ Lockpick Extreme

Bob & Christine from Lockpick Extreme gave a great Nerd Nite talk about handcuffs, the art of not being handcuffed, and training ravens to open locked boxes. Well, good news! If a raven can learn to open locks, you can, too!

We’re thrilled to team up and bring you this live, interactive workshop where you will learn the theory and practice of lockpicking.

Because our first program sold out immediately, we put together two more dates:

We’ll send you a kit including locks and picks that are yours to keep. All you need to do is bring your enthusiasm, have a webcam & mic, and join the virtual workshop (beers and/or ravens optional).

The workshop requires no previous experience in lockpicking and a majority of participants leave being able to open the equivalent of a standard front door house lock. Class size is limited to ensure all participants can receive one-on-one instruction and guidance.

Date: Tues 9/8 or Thurs 9/10, 2020
Place: The Interwebs. A Zoom link will be sent to you.
Time: 7pm PDT. 

Important Details:

This purchase includes access to the remote workshop as well as your selection of either the Classroom Set or Premium Lockpick Training Kit.

For this session, you’ll need to purchase either the Classroom Set or Premium Lockpick Training Kit.

A webcam and microphone are required for participation. We understand that some may be shy to show their face or surroundings.

To provide you with the best experience and feedback to grow your lockpicking skills, it is best if we can see what you are doing. If you would prefer, we suggest setting up your camera in a way that only shows your hands so we can still provide you with picking guidance.

After you purchase this item, you will be contacted via the email used at checkout about details on how to join the workshop event.

Shipping is limited to U.S. domestic addresses. (Sorry, we are unable to ship to AFO/FPO addresses.)

Ticket sales end August 25th so don’t delay!

Lockpicking Workshop w/ Lockpick Extreme & Nerd Nite

Bob & Christine from Lockpick Extreme gave a great Nerd Nite talk about handcuffs, the art of not being handcuffed, and training ravens to open locked boxes. Well, good news! If a raven can learn to open locks, you can, too!

We’re thrilled to team up and bring you this live, interactive workshop where you will learn the theory and practice of lockpicking.

Weds Aug. 19, 7pm
Get your tickets here!
Sales end Aug. 5th

We’ll send you a kit including locks and picks that are yours to keep. All you need to do is bring your enthusiasm, have a webcam & mic, and join the virtual workshop (beers and/or ravens optional).

The workshop requires no previous experience in lockpicking and a majority of participants leave being able to open the equivalent of a standard front door house lock. Class size is limited to ensure all participants can receive one-on-one instruction and guidance.

Date: Wednesday, August 19th, 2020, 7pm
Place: The Interwebs. A Zoom link will be sent to you.
Time: 7pm PDT. 

Important Details:

This purchase includes access to the remote workshop as well as your selection of either the Classroom Set or Premium Lockpick Training Kit.

For this session, you’ll need to purchase either the Classroom Set or Premium Lockpick Training Kit.

A webcam and microphone are required for participation. We understand that some may be shy to show their face or surroundings.

To provide you with the best experience and feedback to grow your lockpicking skills, it is best if we can see what you are doing. If you would prefer, we suggest setting up your camera in a way that only shows your hands so we can still provide you with picking guidance.

After you purchase this item, you will be contacted via the email used at checkout about details on how to join the workshop event.

Shipping is limited to U.S. domestic addresses. (Sorry, we are unable to ship to AFO/FPO addresses.)

Ticket sales end August 5th so don’t delay!